Payette County Sheriff’s Office just avoided the cost of buying costly e-ticketing software by staying well ahead of the curve, and hopes are to roll the software out in full this week.
Rather than paying out of its budget for the software — which will soon be fully mandated by the State of Idaho — the Sheriff’s Office received a $$19,618 grant from Idaho Transportation Department to pay for the entire system.
“We started the process in August,” said Lt. Andy Creech of gearing up for the conversion of a paperless system.
The transition is part of a statewide process for paperwork related to judicial proceedings to be filed electronically, eliminating the paper process in many areas. The statewide goal is to eventually include all sorts of court processes, including motions filed by prosecutors, to the digital system.
For Payette County Sheriff’s Office the grant paid for all of the equipment (including that which was needed in each patrol vehicle), servers, software, training and, most importantly, it came with no annual maintenance costs. That cost, Creech said, can be very pricey on an annual basis, especially considering it would have to be done for every person who utilizes the system.
“It was a good opportunity for us with the state,” he said.
For the past month, deputies have been in the testing phase, which has doubled their work in that for every paper ticket issued, they also were issuing e-tickets.
“Right now, we’re processing those to make sure nothing got lost,” Creech said. “
Every one of those tickets will be analyzed in a database, and once they have all been validated the plan is to go live.
On Monday, Creech said he expected it would be Wednesday or Thursday when they turn on the system and start issuing electronic citations.
The e-ticketing system will make it easier on the officer and will allow less room for error, Creech said, which sometimes happens when deputies have to look up a code, and transfer it to the ticket. With the electronic system, deputies can scan a code on a driver license or ID (this includes Star Cards) and all that information which is stored in the DMV gets uploaded to the e-ticket. Then, a law enforcement officer can search for a code violation by a keyword or phrase, rather than having to know each specific code (or look it up in a reference book that is now no longer being printed called “Cheat Sheets for Idaho Code Violations.”).
The state provided a couple of days of training which included completion of mock tickets to be sure the software was working correctly.
Star Cards available locally
Star Cards are currently available at the Payette County Department of Motor Vehicles, and it is recommended that anyone who has to fly or go into a federal building, such as the post office in Boise, get the card (or a U.S. Passport) before it is federally required in 2020. To find out the requirements needed for a Star Card, call (208) 642-6003. People who are in between needing to update their license or ID, can pay a smaller fee to have it updated to the Star Card in the interim.